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Sediment Profile Image 1
Sediment Profile Image 1
Sediment Profile Imaging 2
Sediment Profile Imaging 2

Sediment Profile Imaging

19th June, 2016

We know our oceans are under threat. While researching this notion I came across some amazing images that in the first instance looked like abstract paintings. On further investigation I discovered the images were the result of a process called Sediment Profile Imaging. This process uses specialist cameras that are used within the sediment water interface. The camera can detect both anoxic an oxic layers within the sediment so determining the status or health of the sediment.

We all know that in an oil spill marine and aquatic life suffers, We see images of birds covered with oil and animals also. But what we do not see is the damage to biological communities that live within the sediment or the sea bed or shelfsea. These communities are called Benthic communities. The specialist camera used by marine scientists can provide a quick response in a situation such as an oil spill and so detect rapidly the level of threat to the environment.

Benthic communities are vital to our ecosystem and to biodiversity. But human activity such as overfishing, pollution and trawlers that disturb the sediment is putting such communities at risk. This will over time affect our own human status, as biodiversity and ecosystems are vital for all life forms on the planet. You can read more on Benthic communities and research for art in the next supporting news feed, also why I am planning a trip to Connemara.

You can see here how beautiful these Sediment Profiles can be. However the profiles also harbour evidence of the threat to our eco systems and to biodiversity. It is with this in mind that I want to research Benthic Communities and hopefully with collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton we will be able to highlight the need for protecting such communities. It is human acitvity that threatens such creatures and the oceans themselves.

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